Men’s Basketball: Owls’ season ends after a gut-wrenching 74-71 loss against Northern Colorado in College Basketball Invitational

Johnell Davis’ career game was not enough to overcome UNC.


Courtesy of FAU Athletics

Johnell Davis scored a career-high 18 points against Northern Colorado in the CBI Tournament on March 20, 2022.

Trey Avant, Staff Writer

The FAU Owls (19-15 overall, 11-7 C-USA) season comes to a close after losing 74-71 in heartbreaking fashion to the University of Northern Colorado Bears (21-15 overall, 13-7 Big Sky) in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Tournament. 

This was the first match-up between the two teams. FAU came into the game as the fifth seed against UNC’s 12th seed. 

After they were eliminated from the C-USA tournament by the eventual champions, the UAB Blazers, the Owls were invited to participate in the CBI, which selects teams that were not selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament or the National Invitational Tournament. This was FAU’s first venture into the CBI Tournament.

FAU was without freshman guard Alijah Martin and senior guard Everett Winchester and their presence was sorely missed. The Owls trailed UNC, 32-30, at the end of the first half. FAU struggled to put the ball in the basket, shooting a putrid 36% from the field in contrast to the Bears’ 45% field goal percentage. 

The Owls capitalized on the Bears’ mistakes, scoring 10 points off turnovers and outrebounded them 20-19. They also held the opposing bench scoreless.

In the second half, both teams went back and forth and changed leads frequently. The game ended with 10 ties and 13 lead changes. 

FAU could not contain UNC senior guard Daylen Kountz, who finished with a game-high 23 points. He also added four rebounds and three assists. 

UNC senior forward Kur Jongkuch wore down FAU’s frontcourt and finished with a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double.

As one of the leading scorers and most consistent players on the team, junior guard Michael Forrest struggled shooting the ball. He shot 33% from the field and finished with 12 points. 

The combination of Martin’s and Winchester’s absences along with Forrest’s struggles made it possible for another player to step up as freshman guard Johnell Davis seized the opportunity. Davis scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds. 

In the final minutes, the game remained close but a late layup from junior guard Dalton Knecht put the Bears in front as they never looked back.

Freshman forward Giancarlo Rosado finished with 15 points and five rebounds while sophomore guard Bryan Greenlee finished with 11 points, four assists and steals each, and three rebounds.

This season marks the highest win total for FAU since the 2010-2011 season. They now look to the offseason and hopefully improve on their win total for the 2022-2023 season.

Trey Avant is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @TreyAvant3.